Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 25 October 2017| 04 Safar 1439
Saudi Arabia has announced plans to build a new mega-city across its borders with Jordan and Egypt which will be entirely powered by renewable energy.
The city, which has been named NEOM, will be built from the ground up on a massive Greenfield site in northwest Saudi Arabia. It will span over 26,500 square kilometers, an area more than 33 times bigger than New York City. The city already has its own Twitter account and website.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the city will focus on industries including energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and entertainment.
It will be backed by more than $500 billion by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) – the kingdom’s largest sovereign fund – and other local and international investors.
“NEOM is situated on one of the world’s most prominent economic arteries, through which nearly a tenth of the world’s trade flows,” PIF said in a press release.”
“Its strategic location will also facilitate the zone’s rapid emergence as a global hub that connects Asia, Europe and Africa, enabling 70% of the world’s population to reach it in less than eight hours.”
In a major departure for the oil rich nation, NEOM will be powered entirely using wind and solar energy. All services in the city will be fully automated with repetitive and arduous tasks being entirely handled by robots.
PIF say the city will likely have the highest GDP per capita in the world. It also said NEOM will have a mild temperature because of a constant breeze coming in off the sea.
“All of this will allow for a new way of life to emerge that takes into account the ambitions and outlooks of humankind paired with best future technologies and outstanding economic prospects,” the Crown Prince said.
NEOM is born from the ambition of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to see the country develop into a pioneering and thriving model of excellence in various and important areas of life.
It aims to drive the transformation of the Kingdom into a leading global hub through the introduction of value chains of industry and technology.
“NEOM will be constructed from the ground-up, on Greenfield sites, allowing it a unique opportunity to be distinguished from all other places that have been developed and constructed over hundreds of years and we will use this opportunity to build a new way of life with excellent economic prospects,” the Crown Prince said.
The announcement came on the same day that the Crown Prince announced that Saudi Arabia, which is known for its ultra conservative rule, is moving to a more “moderate” form of Islam that is open to all religions.
Extracts – RT News| Saudi Gazette